Hello Bry, its good to finally catch up with you, its been a hot minute!
A few years back, I asked you where your name “Bryan Gee” came from? Can you tell our readers the story, please?
Hi, yeah it just came in a second really. I was at home, flicking through the radio, listening to pirate radios, and came across one that was called “Quest FM”. They were asking for DJ’s to join the station, so I called them up and went to see them, everything went ok and joined the station. On my first show I came on before a DJ called “DJ Caroline”, she said coming up next is… and asked me what my name was. At the time I had a sound system/disco tech that I called “Kleer”, named after the funk group, but didn’t have a name for myself. So when she said “what’s your name” I said Gary which is my first name, but DJ Gary didnt sound right. So she said what’s your surname, I said Bryan and then she suggested I call myself Bryan and use the “G” at the end. So that’s how I got the DJ name Bryan Gee.
How did you get involved in V Recordings? How did you come up with the first initial concept? What made you choose the sun logo as it is a very unusual logo, is there a story behind this?
When we started V Recordings I didn’t have a plan, I just wanted to release music, with a bit of experience from working at “Rhythm King Records” and also doing club promotions, which was distributing promos from majors and independent labels to DJ’s. So when that slowed down I took a tape that was sent in to me from Roni Size and went to Bristol to meet him to start a label releasing some of the music he sent me. V started from then. The sun logo was us remixing the Versace fashion logo, personally I think it’s better.
For those who don’t know, tell us a bit about who you have founded? Where did it all begin? What were the initial steps?
I have been involved in working with a lot of artists and helping their careers, which I’m really proud of. Especially, when I see them up in the bright lights achieving their goals and getting the recognition and respect their music deserves. Working at Rhythm King Records in the 80’s I worked with Techno star “Dave Angel”. Dave was already a friend before the music and when he started making music I brought it to the attention of R&S Records in Belgium. As we were running R&S UK at Rhythm King we got him a good deal with them. We also we signed Moby’s “GO” which went on to make Number 1. Bristol boys Roni Size, Krust, DJ Die and Suv are probably what people connect me to the most and that all started while still working at Rhythm King. Basically listening to a tape, given to me by a House act we were working with from Bath called “Absolute”, and liked it instantly but didn’t do anything at the time because Rhythm King just didn’t get it and were not instructed. So when I left I took the tape, called Roni and went down to Bristol, met him, Krust and Die, I told them I loved their vibe and wanted to start a label and release them. They were happy with the idea and gave me new stuff so V was born.
How would you describe the V Recordings style?
Timeless – We try not to get caught up in different genres and just look at it as good music and not so good music, no matter what style it is. When you look back at the catalogue you can see it’s never about just one style, but just what to me feels and sounds good.
Was there a moment or a tune or a DJ set that made you decide you were going to start a label?
No, not really, I started the label, as I said, on the back of hearing music from Roni and Krust basically “wow people need to hear this stuff” so was left to me to release it. It wasn’t something I thought or wanted to do before, the idea just all fell into place.
Your son Jordan V, is he still involved with the running of the label? Do you have other family members helping out?
Not as much as he would like now, he helps me on the event side of things, but he’s so busy at the moment working as a reporter for “Channel 4 News”, he can’t find the time anymore. In fact, he’s getting ready to go off to the Olympics in Rio to cover the Para Olympics, a real jet setter he is now that I’m really proud of. I’m happy every time I switch on the telly and see him reporting, it’s a bit weird as well as I feel like I’m hearing my own voice coming out the telly.
Will your brand “Movement” ever make a comeback?
Ha ha, we had a chat about it the other day because we did a Planet V party and called it V History and went old skool, so it brought back a lot of old faces from our times at Bar Rumba. It felt really great to see everyone again, so it’s something we might do just as a one-off. I doubt it would be a full comeback.
Please let us at DnB Muzik know when that will be Bry as we all loved the Movement Bar Rumma days!
Which events from over the years in your illustrious career really stick in your mind and why?
I’ve done too many incredible parties in places you could only imagine in your dreams, so it would be hard to choose one over my 30/35 years in this. But as for Drum and Bass, my favorite club was Bar Rumba where we had Movement every Thursday for just under 15 years. In that time I had many great nights and it was a time when the scene was smaller and together. DJs were getting locked down to clubs, so they were not able to play anywhere else in that town. Before you had to go through 100 agents and managers to book someone. People got anal about listening to other stuff they might not be into, for instance, you could play Jungle, Upfront, Old Skool, Liquid, Techy Nero stuff and everyone would get down. But now it’s all separated, so people don’t wanna listen to other styles no more, which I feel is sad.
What was your first experience of funk music and how did you and V Recordings get into that sound?
My first experience of Funk music was when I was a young kid. I used to hang around with a guy called Bustin whose brother was a Funk dancer called DJ Donovan, who you might know as the DJ “Donovan Badboy Smith”.
What is it about the current wave of Liquid DnB music that appeals to you?
The name might be something we called liquid for the last 10-15 years but it’s always been about the soulful stuff. It’s what Fabio and LTJ Bukem have been championing since day one. For me, one of our early releases “It’s A Jazz Thing” was deep and soulful, and it’s just what we’re about at V, the soul/funk and groove. So liquid, or whatever you wanna call it, has always appealed to us, it’s got a more specific tag for it now.
If you could work on a track with anyone from now or way back when, who would it be?
Yes, definitely I would have loved to have worked with Roy Ayres, George Clinton, Nile Rodgers, Leroy Burgess…just to name a few.
Are there any major influencers production-wise that inspire you?
I’m always getting inspired by new artists, it’s what keeps you going, without inspiration you can’t move forward. For me, it’s important to keep yourself around people and places that keep you inspired. That’s why I always say when artists grow and work together you get the best music. I experienced it when all the Bristol boys practically lived inside each others’ pockets and the music that came out in that era was incredible. I’m seeing it again with the Brazillian boys, a crew of guys that grow, live, eat and work together, are all bouncing, motivating and inspiring each other.
One thing that I can honestly say, Bry, is that over the years I have known you, you are exceptionally passionate about music and life, I think that is key to have in this day and age.
Tell us a few of your all time and current favorite producers from any genre?
Roy Ayres, George Clinton, Quincy Jones, Lee Perry, Sly & Robbie, Masters at Work, Dave Morales, Joey Negro, Kevin Saunderson, Roni, Die & Krust, Marky, Shy FX, Dr Dre.
Are there any unfulfilled goals or aspirations of yours musically?
Yes, you always feel you can do more and achieve more but I’m generally happy. We got some great up and coming artists on the label with incredible music. So just to build a bigger platform and audience, so more people can hear and enjoy our music.
Who’s supporting V Recordings on the DJ circuit?
I would like to think a lot, I know we get support from Roni, Krust, Marky, Fab, Groove, Spy, Dillinja, Friction, Randall. BBC Radio1 have been behind us a lot recently outside of Drum & Bass. I’m too busy to know who’s playing our music but I know it gets outside especially stuff like “Think Tonk” and the Jungle stuff like the “Serum, Philly Blunt” stuff. We’re working on a project with a rapper from New York called “MC T .R.A.C.” the balance of Hip Hop and Drum and Bass is like I never heard before. So Hip Hop heads watch out for this project. I’m positive they’re gonna love it!
Describe to us your approach to a DJ set, do you like to gently warm up the crowd or go for the bangers or more of a journey approach?
I try to go on a journey, but with promoters wanting B2B sets and 30 min sets, yeah 30 minutes it’s very hard. I’m always pushing for 90 minutes, at least to do what I think is a set, that can take you on that journey without having to mix too quickly and to get peeps properly lost in the music.
When playing out, have you had any crazy females throw their knickers at you or any funny stories regarding fans, ravers?
Of course, I think it’s happened to us all: girls dancing topless in front of you and making it difficult to concentrate; girls trying to take your pants down while you’re DJing and even blokes that love you so much they’re offering you their girlfriends…Ha ha.
LOL! Yes Bry, High rollin! 🙂
“ One for the Ladies” Is there a particular track or genre you like when getting intimate with a female?
Funk, R&B, Soul and easy-listening rolling D&B!!
Which tunes are essentials in your DJ sets right now?
I always have a few specials that always go down good It’s A Jazz Thing, Midnight VIP, Trust Me VIP, LK Mist Mix.
When receiving demos for the label, what do you look for in a track?
Just that feel-good vibe, it doesn’t matter what style Liquid, Upfront, Techy, Old Skool, whatever! Just that feel-good vibe!
So before we hit play on the new release of Liquid V Club Sessions VOL 6, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it?
Yeah, I’m happy with how it’s been received, it’s on the 6th series now, four I have mixed, the others were by Kabuki and Artificial Intelligence. So it kinda feels like my baby now, it’s basically what it says on the tin: a selection of soulful Drum and Bass which for me can be rolled out in clubs, but at the same time easy-listening at home or driving. It gives me a chance to showcase some incredible talent.
Any final words and shout outs?
Yeah thanks to everyone who have supported us over the years and especially all the artist that have shaped the label to what its is today, one of Drum and Bass’s best. Watch out for forthcoming Albums from Mr Joseph, MC Trac, Alibi, L-Side, Command Strange & Firefox. A compilation from DJ Patife, L-Side and JJ Frost! New music from Serum Voltage, Rowpieces, Dj Patife, Drum Sound & Baseline Smith.
To buy click: Liquid V Club Sessions VOL 6
Website: V Recordings